The singer-songwriter is asked an egregious question by the principal of the Royal Academy of Music, where he once studied. Turns out, he’s studiously ambivalent: ‘It was a place full of fear.’
Your fans may not have known about your classical training at the Royal Academy of Music until they saw Rocketman. If you had your time again, would you still go through it?
Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, principal, the Royal Academy of Music
In a heartbeat. I knew I wasn’t going to be a classical pianist – my hands are too small and I wanted to be a rock’n’roll player. But it was a wonderful place, even if it was full of fear – it was strict, they hated anything that wasn’t classical music, although it’s very different now. I learned so much from being in the choir, from the other musicians, from the teachers. You can hear it in the Elton John album: The King Must Die, The Greatest Discovery, Sixty Years On. I’d advise anyone to get formal training, because it teaches you the rudiments – chord structure, melody. It introduces you to music that’s beautiful and miles away from what you might do. It fills your mind with options.